I have a 2.5 year old fussy eater at home, so my mind is constantly thinking about inventive ways toget nutritious food into her. She is happy to dive into anything that appears to be a dessert and sweet but politely says ‘no thanks’ to most other foods! So over the long weekend we whipped up a batch of these nutty cacao balls. Winnie’s verdict……. “Mmm yum” Success!
These chocolate nut balls are packed with nutrition. Using the following whole foods we can make a nutritious snack to satisfy even the sweetest tooth! The great thing is that they only take 5-10 minutes to prepare and you wouldn’t even think they were healthy!
Research has found that raw cacao has the ability to reduce high blood pressure. Its potent antioxidant content is also able to increase our ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and protect the body against free radicals.
Coconut oil is a short term medium chain saturated fatty acid (MCFA’s). It is a form of ‘healthy’ saturated fat. Our body metabolises these MCFA’s in our liver, which is immediately used as energy rather than being stored as fat like other saturated fats. Research has found that it is useful to boost our metabolism, assist with weight loss and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity.
Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are beneficial for cardiovascular health and good source of fibre that helps lower cholesterol, maintain balance of blood sugar and keeps the bowel regular. They are also high in protein which keeps you satisfied for longer between meals which can also help with weight maintenance.
Walnuts and Almonds also offer protection against cardiovascular disease by reducing cholesterol and high blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory effects.
Dates are rich in dietary fibre that help regulate our bowels and can reduce bad cholesterol. The dates in this dish, is what sweetens them. Dates are very high in sugar so you must remember that these sweet treats are to be eaten in moderation. 1-2 of these as a sweet treat will hit the spot.
Nutty Cacao Balls
1 cup of raw nuts (up to you! walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, brazil nuts etc.) 1 cup of dates
1/3 cup of raw cacao powder
1/3 cup of virgin coconut oil
1 tbs of chia seeds
½ cup of shredded coconut
Place all ingredients into a food processor and whizz until well combined. Roll into small balls and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes before eating.